Clackamas County Fair 2016

comments: 57








































Oh, it's the county fair! I'm so glad we went on Tuesday instead of tomorrow, like we almost planned to, because they say it's going to be 102 today and tomorrow. I'm so beyond over the hot weather I could literally scream. We have spent a lot of very, very hot days in the blazing sun this summer, including in Wisconsin, where naturally they were having a "very unusual" heatwave that (naturally) began the minute I arrived in the state. . . . Anyway, Tuesday β€” even though it wasn't technically scorching, it was hot, and I will confess that I am a little bit weary of wandering around in the sun. Understatement.

Amelia is at the age (almost four) where she doesn't want to ride in the stroller anymore (and can get herself out of it) but can't really be successfully . . . managed . . . when running free in places where there are, oh, gigantic animals, a thousand pairs of sunglasses to take off their tables, hippie jewelry within arms' reach, tractors, industrial-size fans, nipping goats, melted candle wax, etc., etc., etc., etc. I love watching all of the little dancers on the talent stage. Amelia jumps down and starts to swing. She rides the same pony (Champion) she rode last year and I race around the ring with the same-as-last-year's tears in my eyes (I don't know why, it really chokes me up to see her riding) trying to get pictures. Afterward, she climbed up onto a saddle cinched to a barrel and started "roping" the fake steer like some sort of baby pro cowgirl. The natural way she was handling the rope freaked me out. How in the world did she know to do this? Andy and I stared at each other in amazement. It was a cool moment. Candy-covered pretzels, kettle corn, huckleberry lemonade, ice cream. We are the family with iron stomachs, apparently, if the last three weeks are any indication. . . .

I love the fair, and the kids at the fair. I love the silly juggler with terrible jokes and the slightly grouchy moccasin-making man and the blacksmiths in smock-tops in the pioneer village, and the tiny dancers with their fancy costumes and their fearlessness. I love the patient animals, and the 'tweens in silver-trimmed jeans and braces sitting in camp chairs, flirting and playing cards. I love the fair moms and their 4-H broods, the grizzly old farmers standing by big metal fences, the serious farm kids grimly tugging on cows' halters as they drag their long-suffering, cud-chewing, flies-in-their-eys cattle to the show ring. I love the old barns and the light coming through the cracks in the boards, illuminating the dust in the air like a shower of stars. I love remembering my own city childhood dreaminess, how I knew things like how much land one needed in order to keep a horse at grass, that you should always pet a horse's face as if you were stroking a small bird, that you should pull his mane and never cut it. I love remembering how one or the other of my parents drove forty-five minutes each way every weekend so that I could go horseback-riding every single Sunday for five straight years. I hope that Amelia will have the chance to experience country life more often than just her yearly trip to the fair. I think she's almost old enough to do something that will help foster a love and respect for rural heritage, but I'm not sure what, or how.

Three more weeks of summer. Homestretch. I can do this!

And here are our other trips to the fair:


I always love your fair! Oh to see her on the poney w/ her hand up! Tada!
Her pigtails are like my daughters wereβ™₯
She needs cute cowgirl boots Alicia:) She does..:)
Beautiful faces..everyone..all unique and so interesting and that babay with the cute chubby baby legs:)
She's a golden girl for The Golden Books of my childhood.

We truly are of the same tribe.
I have this distinct loathing for summer and especially heatwaves- which this entire summer has been one GIANT HEAT WAVE. And did I mention I'm pregnant? Due in about 5 weeks?
Anyway I totally feel your pain about the endless blazing sunny days. We must be pacific-northwest girls at heart.
Even though I now live in New England with my family, my heart belongs to my homeland of forests, shade, fog, and rain.

Joan Lesmeister says: August 19, 2016 at 08:38 AM

Love it all! Thank you!

Same moccasin man every year right? So funny. If he feels grouchy why does he keep doing it? I love your fair posts.

I love that I recognize the Moccasin Man from previous fair posts!
Also (in response to another commenter) I'm sure he's like most of us working folk that, while we might love what we do, we have off days. I bet being in a crowded, dusty place in height of Summer makes anyone a little more grumpy than usual!
Seeing Amelia on the pony is the sweetest thing. Especially her little hand holding Andy's. So cute!
Maybe she can start riding lessons soonish? It's such a great way to bond with animals and get out of the city. They're such intuitive animals and being around them is a good way to learn to get in touch with your own instincts and gut feelings.
As always, thanks for sharing!

Heather Bond says: August 19, 2016 at 09:41 AM

Amelia is ridiculously cute. Not news, I know. And she and Andy together - good grief!

I've cursed you the last two years at fair time. We went 3 years ago and had the AMAZING corn dogs (on the right not far inside the main gate), once for dinner and again the next day for lunch. The nice man told us that they would be at the Wooden Boat Festival in Port Townsend, WA (Yay! Only an hour from home!) later in the year so we drove up there - just for the corn dogs, we don't have a boat. You had to pay to get in to the festival! $15 per person! There were those corn dogs, so close, and for just a moment I thought it might be worth $30 to get two $5 corn dogs. We're going to the Evergreen State Fair this year and hoping for good corn dogs. Thanks for convincing us to go to Clackamas in the first place, we had a great time. Maybe next year you could grab a couple of corn dogs and send them up to us?

M. Michael Payne says: August 19, 2016 at 09:53 AM

See, that lady with the spinning wheel has my same wheel. Guess I'll have to get Mimi a spindle and start showing her how to make her mama some yarn. Oregon Flock and Fiber is in Sept. 24 & 25. Almost another country fair except with more furry creatures and no rides. LOL See you there or be square!

I was totally the girls dancing at the fair when I was little, and we all hated it because it was hot and the stage was too hard and oh my goodness, what if our friends saw us?

I just got my fair brochure in the mail yesterday and my mind is spinning with plans of what I want to enter in the baking competitions this year. I love visiting the fair every year (pig races!, ox-pulls!) but it's even more fun now that I've started participating too. :)

This is my favorite post that you do all year. Love it!

Danielle G says: August 19, 2016 at 11:50 AM

Haha, the moccasin guy IS a trip. Pioneer village is my favorite part. There are some great riding spots out here in the Boring/Sandy area. My girls started at age 4 with Horse Sense Riding School for 30 minutes. Their new locations isn't as good as the old one, but the instructors have been consistently good and the mission of the org & price are great. My youngest is 6 now and takes private lessons elsewhere, but I still recommend it to parents that want to start their kids young.

Amelia is a little trooper . . .
I too was amazed at her and the rope lasso photo . . .
So many positive learning observations/experiences can be found at a county fair!

Not wanting to melt we decided to skip the fair this year. Being of a certain age it's hard to withstand the triple digit temperatures. ♨️
So thank you for going and for taking such insightful photo's!!😘

Looking back on the last three years of fair visits, Miss Em had bloomed into a sweet little child. I especially love the photo's of her sitting in the old pioneer's sling chair. The old pioneer hasn't changed much but sweet Mimi has.😊

I have such good memories of horse riding as a younger person. Except the time my horse unexpectedly stopped short and I continued to catapult over his head onto the very hard ground below. I guess that's what I deserved riding bareback. πŸ‡

I love your reports of Clackamas Fair. It's a fixture.

Oh I am so thankful for your post! We almost didn't go to the fair today b/c of the heat but then I saw your post this morning and it reminded me of why we go each year. The heat made it tough, but we survived and had a great time. The place really is amazing. We go to inspire a love for rural life too....

I always enjoy your county fair posts! Except for the heat (which I just don't do!) it looks like a perfect day!

Lovely kids at the fair. I like fairs and specially the food. That ice cream looks awesome. Amelia looks so cute holding her dad's hand and her hair looks so pretty and long!

Oh my heart, the pony ride photos. Please, please frame them and display them as a series in your home.

Dorothy Morgan says: August 19, 2016 at 06:44 PM

I love your blog and seeing the pictures of Amelia. She's a doll. I have many vintage patterns for little girls and may have some in her size if you would like them. Don't tell my daughters ages 47 & 43 that I called the patterns vintage! However, I have been trying to downsize and I'm a pack rat and with no granddaughters in the picture, it's time to let go. Just send me an e-mail and I'll send them off.

It's so good to hear someone else, other than myself, who is totally over summer. I am counting the days until I can get out the autumn quilts and glass pumpkins. Candy corn is in the market today. I'm ready!

She's so big. I am astonished every time how she grows. The fair sounds like a lovely time.

I think I've commented on this before - but your vacation and day to day photos would make such a gorgeous book! I would love to see a slice of life coffee table book by Posie Gets Cozy ;) I just know it would be amazing!

As always, enjoy my Saturday mornings, my homemade latte, and reading your posts - they, too, can bring tears to my eyes. I love how you write and so many things you say are what I felt as a young mom and now, as a grandma - sweet thoughts for sure and how time flies by. What a fun summer you guys are having and there's nothing like the fair and some good old-fashioned fun! Looking forward to no more hot weather and the fall season can't come quick enough for me!

Have you ever heard Natalie Merchant's song, Equistrienne? I think it would touch you. We are moving in two weeks to the Portland area and I can't wait to go to the fair next year! I'm hoping for cooler weather when we get there though!

Here it is my favourite post of the year! I remember Amelia's first fair and how you were looking forward to her first pony ride the following year. Now here we are and she is riding along one handed, it chokes me up too! Next year we hope to journey from the UK to Portland to see the eclipse and I have already told my family I must visit the Clackamas county fair whilst we are there. It would be wrong not to, right?

Love reading your posts and how Amelia's becoming a little girl. My grandsons (all 3 little ones) are getting to be "guys" and want to do "guy things". It makes me a little teary seeing how fast they're growing and hoping they'll still want to visit grandma when my pool's no longer a thrill. I hold them tightly when they'll let me and enjoy every moment (heat and all!)

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been posted. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


post a comment

About Alicia Paulson


My name is Alicia Paulson
and I love to make things. I live with my husband and daughter in Portland, Oregon, and design sewing, embroidery, knitting, and crochet patterns. See more about me at




Since August of 2011 I've been using a Canon EOS 60D with an EF 18-200mm kit lens and an EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro lens.